Fireworks: Sioux Falls City Officials Weigh In On What’s Safe, Legal

With the 4th of July less than a week away, Sioux Falls city officials are reminding residents to have a fun, but safe holiday. Police say they’re not out to ruin anyone’s weekend, but say they will hand out tickets if they need to. KDLT’s Jill Johnson has some tips on how to keep fire and police away this holiday.

Sioux Falls Fire Inspector Tyler Tjeerdsma said, “We do see a couple every year going to the hospital for minor burns and stuff like that.”

Sioux Falls Fire Rescue says there are around 9,000 fireworks-related injuries that take place in the United States each year; over half of them are to hands and fingers.

Tjeerdsma said, “If the firework has a fuse on it, it’s meant to be put on the ground.”

Fire Rescue say they should be on level ground too. Adults should do all of the lighting with children at least 15 feet away. It’s a good idea to have a hose handy, a bucket of water to put fireworks in after they’ve been lit, and thrown away the next day.

Sioux Falls Police Officer Sam Clemens said, “Sparklers do generate a lot of heat. If your kids are with sparklers, make sure they’re apart from each other. We have seen in the past where sparklers can start clothing on fire.”

Sioux Falls Police say fireworks like sparklers, smoke bombs, snaps, and snakes are allowed within city limits. Anything that makes noise or launches is not.

“We get a lot of reports of the audible, that’s what bothers people especially late at night. The artillery shells are pretty popular but that’s probably generates the most number of calls,” said Clemens.

From July third through the fifth last year, police say they received more than 500 fireworks related calls; nearly twice as many as the year before. Police say just like last year, several officers will be dedicated solely to those calls.  They say they’ll get to them as fast as they can.

“If you hear the fireworks going off in your neighborhood, call police. The second or third call isn’t going to make the officer get there any quicker,” said Clemens.

Police handed out 23 fireworks related citations last year. They all come with a $95 fine.

While police say it’s fine if residents take their light show out to the county, they need to pick up after themselves.

Clemens said, “That’s something that we always hear about from people that live outside of city limits, that the residents go out there, leave a big mess, and disappear.”

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